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LAS VEGAS (2007 FIBA Americas Championship) - If the United States was trying to send a message that it is the team to beat in this tournament, most would agree that Venezuela got that message loud and clear on Wednesday night.
The USA scored early and often, opening the game on a 9-0 run and rolling to a 112-69 victory to cap the action on day one at Thomas & Mack Center on the campus of UNLV.
The USA employed a balanced attack, with seven players scoring in double digits.
Carmelo Anthony and Michael Redd led the United States with 17 apiece. The USA also dominated inside, outscoring the Venezuelans 58-14 in the paint.
Defensively, Dwight Howard led the USA with three blocks while Kobe Bryant and LeBron James teamed for 6 steals.
Collectively, the USA forced Venezuela into 20 turnovers, capitalizing on those miscues with 41 fast break points. Greivis Vasquez led Venezuela with 12 points.
by: Tim Kuck